Sometimes it's tough to keep track of the networks of connections musicians cultivate. Late last year a CD called Home (Hush) by a fellow named Peter Broderick turned up in my mailbox. I gave it a quick listen and liked what I heard, but I didn't get back to it till I saw that he was coming to Chicago--he plays Saturday night at Schubas. Home isn't his first album--in fact, he's already released a couple on European labels like Kning Disk and Type.
He's from Portland, Oregon, but has spent most of his time in Copenhagen ever since the Danish group Efterklang, which headlines Saturday's show, invited him to join in 2007. On the lovely, introspective Home, Broderick reminds me of sweet-voiced troubadours like Nick Drake and Elliott Smith; the songs aren't especially memorable, but the mood and the harmonies (created with voices and strings) are both beautiful.
I started digging and checked out his two previous albums, Docile and Float, but they don't turn out to have much in common with Home--they're both primarily instrumental piano records. In an interview with the Milk Factory, Broderick admits he's not much of a pianist, which explains the minimalist tedium of these efforts--they seem to shoot for a cross between Erik Satie and George Winston, minus any technique.
More impressive is the fact that Broderick also plays in moody Portland folk-pop group Horse Feathers. Their terrific second album, Horse With No Name (Kill Rock Stars), covers much the same territory as Home, but the tunes are stronger and with two other members--Justin Ringle and Heather Broderick--there's more going on instrumentally. I'll be trying harder to keep track of this guy in the future.
And oh yeah--if you're so inclined you can now follow my occasional blather on Twitter.
Anthony Pateras, Chromatophore (Tzadik)
Lucky Thompson, With Dave Pochonet All Stars (Universal Music, France)
Eivind Opsvik, Overseas III (Loyal Label)
Martin Baumgartner, Shoot’s Huft (For 4 Ears)
Choi Joonyong, Hong Chulki, Sachiko M, and Otomo Yoshihide, Sweet Cuts, Distant Curves (Balloon & Needle)